Spicebox Supperclub: Local


Last year, life/culinary school got in the way, and we fell behind on preserving our delicious memories of Spicebox Supperclub.  Now it’s time to catch up.

Back in September 2016, Nalin and Heather hosted a lovely meal on the theme of “Local.”  While we don’t have any photographs of the amazing meal, here are the recipes, many from the Gjelina cookbook, and a partial list of local purveyors.

LOCAL: Menu and Recipes


Amuse Bouche

Watermelon cubes with balsalmic reduction.

Roasted beet cubes with goat cheese.



basalmic vinegar


3 medium beets (about 1-1/2 pounds)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup inexpensive balsamic vinegar

1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

goat cheese


Cube watermelon, about 3/4” in size, core small depression

Reduce basalmic vinegar in half by heating slowly

Add gently to depression in watermelon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove the leafy stems and roots of the beets and peel each one with a vegetable peeler. Cut the beets in 1 1/2-inch chunks.

Place the cut beets on the prepared baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Roast for until the beets are tender when pierced with a thin-bladed knife, 35 to 40 minutes, tossing once with a spatula midway through.

Meanwhile, combine the vinegar and maple syrup in a small skillet. Cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by about half (if should lightly coat the back of a metal spoon). Pay close attention and be sure not to over-reduce it; it goes from sweet and syrupy to burnt and hard very quickly.

Toss the glaze with the roasted beets and chill until ready to serve.


Andulusian Gazpacho

(from Serious Eats)

  • 3 pounds (about 4 large) very ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 pound (about 1 small) cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
  • 1/3 pound (about 1 small) small red onion, peeled and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
  • 1/3 pound (about 1 medium) green or red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 4 ounces (about 2 slices) white sandwich, French, or Italian bread, crusts removed, torn into rough 1-inch pieces (see note)
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving (McEvoy Olive Oil)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced chives
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion, pepper, garlic, and salt in a large bowl and toss to coat thoroughly. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain juices into a large bowl and add the bread. Transfer the drained vegetables to a rimmed baking sheet and place in freezer until vegetables are frozen, about 60 minute.

Remove vegetables from freezer and allow to sit at room temperature until mostly thawed, about 30 minutes. Transfer vegetables and all their juices from the pan to bowl with soaked bread.

Working in two batches as necessary, blend vegetables, juice, and bread at high speed, slowly drizzling olive oil and sherry vinegar into blender as it blends. Strain soup through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve, drizzling each bowl with olive oil, a few sprinkles of sherry vinegar, extra cracked black pepper, and chives. Gazpacho can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.



(from Serious Eats)

  • Yields 4-6
  • 1 pound fresh ocean fish such as sea bass, grouper, or striped bass, cut into 1/4-inch slices (see note)
  • 1/2 cup lemon, lime, or sour orange juice, or a combination
  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, ribs and seeds removed, rinsed, and finely minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Combine fish, juice, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño in a large bowl and gently fold with your hands to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to marinate for at least 5 minutes, folding occasionally. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately with boiled corn and sweet potatoes, if desired.


  • 0 minutes: Fish is completely raw. Slippery texture, like sashimi (I mean, it is sashimi).
  • 1 minute: Fish is strongly flavored, but still essentially raw. No noticeable difference in texture yet.
  • 2 minutes: Very exterior of fish is starting to show some textural changes.
  • 5 minutes: Definite textural changes in fish, with a pleasing firmness to the exterior. Not ideal yet.
  • 10 minutes: For my taste, this is where it begins to become ideal. Niceley firm on the outside, but still tender and moist in the interior.
  • 15 minutes: Even better.
  • 30 minutes: Still good, bordering on too cooked.
  • 1 hour: Overcooked. The acid has begun breaking down the connective tissue in between the layers of the flesh, which causes it to start falling apart.
  • 1 1/2 hours: The fish breaks into distinct chunks with even the slightest poke from a finger or fork.
  • 2 hours: Completely gone. Fish has spontaneously started to break apart even without touching it. It’s cooked through to nearly the center, with a chalky, dry texture.


Tomato, Beet and Carrot Soup

(from Gjelina)

Yield 6-8


3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 small onions, chopped

Kosher salt

3 peeled carrots, chopped

7 red beets, peeled, chopped

6 garlic cloves, sliced

1.5 tsp tomato paste

1 tsp Harissa

2 cups beef stock

2 cups vegetable stock

1 bay leaf, bruised

3/4 cup (120 ml) pomodoro sauce

freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup (60 ml) spiced yogurt

2 tbsp snipped chives

olive oil


In a large soup pot over medium high heat, warm the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and cook until fragrant, about 2 mins. Season with salt. Add the carrots and beets and turn the heat to medium low. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are cooked through and slightly carmelized, 20-30 mins. Stir in the garlic, and cook until just fragrant, about 2 mins longer. Stir in the tomato paste and harissa until aromatic and beginning to brown, about 3 mins. Add the beef and vegetable stock, and bring to a simmer. Add the bay leaf and simmer until the beets are very tender, about 20 mins. Add the pomodoro sauce.

Remove from heat and with an immersion blender, puree until relatively smooth. (Or puree in batches in blender.) Return to medium-high heat and cook until warmed through. (Add more stock if the soup is too thick.) Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle into bowls and top with spiced yogurt. Sprinkle with chives, dizzle with best quality olive oil and a few rounds of pepper.

Spiced Yogurt

Toast 1/4 tsp coriander and 1/4 tsp cumin seeds in a small frying pan, about 3 mins. Remove from heat, cool and then grind. In a food processor, combine yogurt (1 cup Greek style), coriander and cumin seeds, 2 tbsp chopped cilantro and 1 tbsp chopped mint and process briefly, about 5 seconds. Add olive oil (2 tbsp), white wine vinegar (2 tsp) and juice from 1/2 lemon and pulse briefly. Taste and season with salt. Stir in 3 tbsp water until yogurt is thin enough to drizzle with spoon.


Arugula and Radicchio Salad with Crispy Shallots

(from Gjelina)


Crispy shallots and shallot oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp honey

kosher salt

1 bunch arugula

1 head radicchio

chunk of parmesan


Pour 1 1/2 cups of shallot oil into a small bowl, whisk in the lemon juice, sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar and honey and season with salt/pepper.

Crispy Shallots

In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat, add 5 shallots and cook, stirring until deep golden brown and temperature of oil is 230 degree F, 10-15 mins. Using slotted spoon or strainer, transfer shallots to a paper-lined dish and drain. Allow shallots to come to room temperature.

The key to frying shallots is to add them to warm oil and raise the temperature gradually while moving the shallots briskly. The bubbling action of the shallots will tell you when the temperature is right.

Sous vide Beef Steaks

(from Serious Eats)


Season steaks with salt and place in the fridge for 4 hours. After, coat generously with spice mixture (anardana, fennel, five spice, and thyme). Add to water bath (131 degrees) for 2 hours.

Heat cast iron skillet, add butter/canola oil mixture. Sear each side for 15-30 seconds, including sides. Slice.


1 bunch fresh cilantro

1/2 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, stemmed and chopped

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 shallot

3-4 cloves garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

kosher salt

fresh ground pepper

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

some sliced apple

Combine cilantro, parsley, oregano, paprika, shallot, olive oil and salt and stir. Blend until roughly combined

Red Wine Sauce

2 cups red wine, 4 shallots (chopped), 1 carrot, peeled and sliced

3 sprigs thyme, 1 fresh bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed

2 cups concentrated veal stock

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Combine the wine, shallots, carrot, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns in a saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and boil gently until the liquid is reduced to 2/3 cup, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the veal stock and continue to boil gently until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing hard against the solids to extract all the liquid. The sauce can be stored for up to a day in the refrigerator.


Tomates a la Provencale

(from Mastering the Art of French Cooking)


6 firm, ripe tomatoes, all of the same size, about 2 inches in diameter

salt and pepper

olive oil

1-2 cloves mashed garlic

2 tbsp minced shallots

4 tbsp minced fresh basil and parsley

1/8 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp salt

big pinch of pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup crumbs from fresh white bread with body


Remove stems, cut top of tomatoes off, gently press out juice and seeds. Sprinkle halves with salt/pepper.

Blend ingredients in a mixing bowl, correct seasoning. Fill each tomato with mixture. Sprinkle a few drops of olive oil. Bake in upper third of oven at 400 degrees 10-15 mins.


Beef Broth with Kale and Poached Egg

(from Gjelina)

8 cups beef broth

8 small eggs

two bunches of kale, 2 garlic cloves

Parmesan cheese or other firm cheese

green onion, thinly sliced

Saute garlic in a large non-stick pan, saute kale for about 2-3 mins, add to bowls. Heat broth in two pans until just boiling, drain and add eggs to pan and allow to poach for 3-4 mins, transfer to bowls. Add broth to bowls, top with olive oil and a sliced green onion


LOCAL: Purveyors

Fresh produce:

Fifth Crow Farms, Pescadero – Castro Farmer’s Market (beets & other fresh produce)

Dirty Girl Produce – Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market (tomatoes, beets, carrots)

Shelly’s Farm Fresh – Castro Farmer’s Market (pullet eggs)


Hog Island Oysters, Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market

Fresh fish:

H&H Fish (http://www.hhfreshfish.com), fresh snapper from Monterey Bay

Grass-fed beef:

Stemple Creek Ranch and Prather Ranch Meat Co (Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market)